The last thing any company wants is one of their precious products to fall like a brick from a skyscraper. Profit is the name of the game. So, investing millions into something only to see it fail is a bitter pill to swallow. Sometimes there’s just no way to know if a product will sink or swim. Even after years of testing and design, a product can backfire. Companies, however, can also be tone deaf to what the public really wants. Curious to see some of the biggest business blunders in history? Here are 25 worst product flops you might remember.
Released in 2006, the Microsoft Zune was a clear attempt to compete with Apple’s highly successful iPod. However, by the time it was released, Apple had already sold 100 million iPods. Sales in the beginning of the Zune were abysmal and the music player never could get off the ground despite consistent effort from the tech giant.
Facebook Home was a launcher app for Android phones where users could have Facebook at the forefront of their user experience. However, Facebook buried everything else people enjoy about smartphones like folders and widgets. All that was buried beneath the phone. So almost immediately people abandoned the software and Facebook Home died.
Nintendo Virtual Boy
In the 1990s, a virtual reality craze swept popular culture but the technology just wasn’t there yet. In an attempt to capitalize on the trend, Nintendo released the Virtual Boy. It looks like a virtual reality headset but the screen is not. It was essentially just red lines on a grid that would burn out your eyes if you looked at it for too long. They only sold around 200,000 units and the device was no more.
In 2011, Netflix reached a crossroads. They had the DVD side of their business on the one hand and the instant streaming side on the other. CEO Reed Hastings thought, “Hey, what if we divide these two things up into two companies instead of one?” So, Netflix made a major announcement. First, they were creating a new company called “Qwikster” which will provide the DVD mail rental service and Netflix will continue to do instant streaming. The horrendous idea resulted in a major outcry and Netflix scrapped the whole thing faster than you can say “Qwikster.”
Atari and E.T. The Extraterrestrial
At first, the Atari 2600 was a huge success and in 8 million American homes. However, by 1983, their business decisions lead to a major video game crash in the market. Consumers lost faith in Atari’s quality when they shoddily ported Pac-Man to their system. When it rushed E.T. The Extraterrestrial, one of the worst video games ever made, to market, Atari single handily crushed the entire industry.
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